Chess legend-turned-nutjob Bobby Fischer is dead. The Washington Post details his more crazy antics. A few gems:
* In 1981, he was arrested in Pasadena, by mistake, on suspicion of bank robbery, which prompted him to publish a pamphlet entitled, "I Was Tortured in the Pasadena Jail House."
* He gave $90,000 of his world championship winnings to the Pasadena-based Worldwide Church of God, a fundamentalist sect whose founder, Herbert W. Armstrong, had predicted that Jesus Christ would return to Earth in 1975 after a nuclear holocaust. When the year came and went without nuclear incident, Fischer left the church.
* He reportedly had the fillings removed from his teeth to prevent the Soviets from transmitting secret messages.
This all of course reminds me of my favorite movie of 1993, Searching for Bobby Fischer. Steve Zallian's portrait of real-life chess prodigy Josh Waitzkin is engrossing, moving, and layered. He also manages to make chess exciting, with matches that involve you emotionally and never cease to thrill. I know you don't believe me, but remember when you thought spelling bees were boring but then you saw Spellbound?! This is like that.